Farewell The Year of the Dragon 2012 and Kung Hei Fat Choi The Year of the Snake 2013. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, with unique personalities attributed to each one. The dragon is the 5th animal to enter the continuous cycle and the Snake is the 6th. According to Chinese astrology which is based on the lunar calendar, the New Year begins at the new moon occurring in late January - early February each year. In 2013, Sunday, February 10th will mark Chinese New Year's Day, but I wonder what will the rest of the year have in store for you?
In Chinese Astrology, because they shed their skin, snakes are seen as a positive symbol of renewal and rebirth. Also, snakes are characteristically clever and changeable, but they don't like to be disturbed - this means 2013 will a great year for all of us to undertake some form of study but be sure to make time to curl up and rest in the sun. Hmm, doesn't sound too bad so far.
Many people make offerings to the gods of prosperity at this time of year.
Around the world elaborate celebrations will take place as the seductive Snake overcomes the dangerous Dragon. Especially in Asia and also in most major cities, fireworks will grace the skies, feasting will occur and prayers will be made to the powers that be for a prosperous year ahead. In Australia, many cities turn on major festivals to celebrate Chinese New Year - Sydney has Dragon Boat Races, Markets, and a super popular Twilight Parade, which last year drew a crowd of 100 000 people and 3 000 performers. Each year Brisbane Chinatown holds a free three day festival, while Chinatown Melbourne similarly host free celebrations over the Lunar New Year weekend.